Friday, April 03, 2009

Armanino McKenna Creates Consulting Group

Armanino McKenna LLP (AM), San Ramon, has reorganized itself and formed a consulting group.

“We’re the fastest growing CPA firm in the country, based on cumulative revenues, and virtually all of it has come though organic growth,” explains Partner-in-Charge Tom Mescall. “Consulting has been an entrepreneurial growth area for us where we have people focused in their areas pushing the growth and working with clients and bringing those services to market.”

At year end, the company had so many people involved in consulting that it decided to pull those resources together in a more cohesive way. For example, many of the public, mid-market business clients for whom AM does quarterly SEC reporting are high tech firms that offer employees stock option incentives and so need 409(a) valuation services.

“We’re very strong in IT services and in SOX and SOX has a fair amount of IT controls design and testing,” Mescall says. “Clients on the IT side were asking about SOX controls and if we’re in SOX control, they’re asking about IT.”

Audit clientele were seeking financial modeling and industry benchmarking. “A significant amount of our clients are privately held and we’re trusted business advisors to them, especially in this market,” he adds.

So does all that growth mean AA is hiring? “Absolutely,” Mescall says, “As we pull our consulting organization together and build a cohesive strategy there are areas we’d like to be stronger in to bring the full depth and breadth to our clients.”

Valuations is a growth area (the company now has a staff of 13 in that area) particularly in California’s high tech, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. “We’re looking to hire the right people to go after those markets,” Mescall says.

Another area of expansion for the company is royalty auditing for technology such as iPhone apps, as well as royalty agreements entered into by entertainment, video gaming and pharmaceutical companies. “A lot of companies are looking at [royalty agreements as] found revenue and we’re attacking that market,” he explains.

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